There’s a balancing act of chaos when I stand at the bench to make a bicycle frame. The part I love the most is the part after the very beginning. When the pipes are mitered and I’m sure all the interference fits meet a standard. That’s when the torch is lit for the first time. Little pieces of metal balancing on round tubes. Each has a function and an exact place to be. The tactile senses are heightened when the smell of an oxyacetylene flame dances on a pile of surrendering paste flux. But when the business end of the brazing rod I’m holding begins its travel under and ever-so-slightly around every joint – that’s when I become overloaded. The scent of heat and the mastery necessary to shepherd molten filler into places only I command it to go. Nothing after this is better.
All This By Hand